Hand tools and fabrication machines
Every year I like to make some sort of Christmas tree ornament. Last year I made the Christmas Ornament 3D Printer that 3D prints Christmas ornaments (video), and the year before that I made an ornament that played '90s TV commercials on your tree. This year I was almost out of time, but I managed to throw something together in a one day build. Check out the video below.
A zoetrope is could be the original form of animation. It was made of a spinning tube with slots cut in it. Looking through the slots would allow you to see an image for a brief period while it spun. As each slot passed your eye, you would see a different image, creating some form of movement. What I have built is similar, but I'm calling it a "reverse zoetrope" since the LEDs makes the direct image view-able one instance at a time.
The electronics are relatively simple. I used an Adafruit Trinket for the brains, a section of WS2812 LEDs, a hall effect sensor, and a IRLZ44N MOSFET to control the motor. I threw it all together on a protoboard.
The upper half has a circular panel of lasercut acrylic pieces, which I took different shapes and turned them into a spinning animation. You will see in the video my original idea of trying POV did not work out. The acrylic pieces are screwed to a platform and attached to a motor.
The whole thing goes together into one "ornament" sized package.
The inner piece spins and as the magnets trip the hall sensor, it triggers the lights to turn on for a split second. Here is an exaggerated example.
This project was very quick, but fun. I managed to throw together something with what I had on hand, and it gave me a great reason to try out my new laser cutter. I learned a bunch of things, and will be attempting an updated version in the future.
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